Time to face the dreaded paperwork for pesticide and fertiliser records
Most farmers do not like paperwork and find that there is always something more urgent to do. If that is your approach you're OK, provided that you get someone to do it for you. If you do it yourself, then there is no better time than now to start at it given the poor weather and soil conditions.
You must ensure that your:
- Pesticide records 2010 are completed;
- Fertiliser application records 2010 are completed.
You should also take the time to review your soil results and prepare your fertiliser programme for 2011. The revised nitrogen allowances for winter wheat and malting barley, announced recently by the Department of Agriculture, are most welcome and are more realistic to meet crop requirements.
From an environmental perspective, I find it difficult to comprehend why lands with high yield potential should be restricted when in other areas of the world, land, which in some instances is of marginal quality, is being reclaimed for crop production.
The other welcome development has been the removal of the requirement to classify land which had received dressings of organic fertiliser as Index 2 for nitrogen. It recognises the value of organic matter and sends a strong signal that organic matter is a valuable resource.
The depletion of soil phosphorus levels will be alleviated by increased phosphorus allowances and applications where yields exceed 6.5t/ha. This revision of the regulations is in recognition of the fact that the previous allocation was not adequate for high yielding crops.
Pesticide records 2010
Pesticide records are very easy to finalise if you have kept a diary of field applications during the year. If your record-keeping was poor there is a considerable amount of work involved. It is important that the correct PCS (pesticide control service) number is recorded for all products.